Yesterday, March 11, 2018 around 7:00pm.. a sightseeing helicopter crashed into New York City’s East River near Roosevelt Island, killing all five passengers. When emergency crews arrived the helicopter was upside down and submerged. The pilot managed to escape and survive but the five passengers were tightly harnessed and had to be cut out. The pilot.. 33-year-old Richard Vance, told investigators that he believes one of the passengers’ bags may have hit the emergency fuel shutoff button and caused the chopper to crash. The crash is being investigated to find out exactly what happened.